Wal-Mart top five execs earn more than $60 million in recent fiscal year

by Kim Souza (ksouza@talkbusiness.net) 2,062 views 

Doug McMillon, CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, visits briefly with the media following the company’s shareholders meeting held Friday (June 3, 2016) in Fayetteville.

The top boss at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. saw his pay rise almost 13% in the most recent fiscal year thanks to a cash bonus bump of 42% tied to meeting financial performance goals, according to the corporate Proxy filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission late Thursday.

Wal-Mart Stores CEO Doug McMillon earned total compensation of $22.352 million last year, the majority of which came in stock awards based on performance. McMillon’s total earnings rose 12.8% from $19.808 million in the prior year. His base salary totaled $1.278 million, up 1.23% from the prior year. He elected to defer $130,000 of his base salary to the deferred compensation matching plan. His stock awards totaled $15.224 million last year, up a 6.68% from fiscal 2016.

The cash bonus, based on financial performance, rose to $4.851 million, up 42% in the year-over-year period. Pension contributions on his behalf totaled $510,155 and McMillon also earned $486,732 in other compensation which includes 401K matching contribution, use of corporate aircraft and contributions on his behalf to a deferred compensation plan. McMillon’s bigger bonus pay was directly related to earnings per share exceeding initial guidance last year. For his cash bonus McMillon’s payout was at 119.2% of the target.

Brett Biggs, chief financial officer for Wal-Mart Stores, earned total compensation of $6.405 million last year. His total compensation was lower than the $8.615 million he earned in fiscal 2016. But last year Biggs’s base salary of $854,670 was up 37% year-over-year. He elected to defer $247,000 of his salary to the deferred compensation matching plan in fiscal 2017. His cash bonus rose to $2.026 million, compared to $924,965 in the prior year. His stock awards were significantly lower in fiscal 2017 at $3.176 million, down from $6.854 million the prior year. Biggs’ other compensation rose to $249,783, up from $119,140 in the prior year. Pension contributions made in his behalf also rose to $101,880, from $81,490 in the prior year. The company said fiscal 2017 was the first full year in his role as chief financial officer.

Greg Foran, CEO of Walmart U.S., saw his total compensation rise to $11.553 million last year, up slightly from $11.544 million. His base salary of $1.006 million rose 3% from the prior year and cash bonus pay increased to $2.861 million, up 14.85% in the same period. Stock awards were valued at $6.650 million, down from $7.035 million in the prior year. Foran’s other compensation totaled $1.027 million, down slightly from the previous year. The majority of that went to his deferred contribution plan and $72,791 was for personal use of the corporate aircraft.

Walmart International CEO David Cheesewright earned $12.552 million last year, up from $10.171 million the year before. His base salary of $1.71 million increased 3.8% from the prior year. Cheesewright’s cash bonus pay totaled $3.245 million, up 31% from the prior year. Unlike Foran and Biggs, Cheesewright’s stock awards increased last year to $6.501 million. His other compensation totaled $962,853, which included $225,624 for personal use of the corporate aircraft. Cheesewright chooses to collect his pay in Canadian dollars. The figures in the Proxy are based on the average exchange rates last year.

Marc Lore, CEO of Walmart U.S. eCommerce, was new to Wal-Mart last year, joining the company in early October with the $3.3 billion acquisition of Jet.com. He earned $346,154 for the remaining five months of fiscal 2017. His cash bonus pay totaled $1.055 million.

In exchange for his ownership in Jet.com, Lore received stock awards totaling $242.449 million, which pushed his total compensation up to $243.876 million. Absent the special stock grant to Lore in exchange for interest in Jet.com his direct compensation for fiscal 2017 would have been about $7.6 million, according to the filing.

Fiscal year net income fell 7.2% for Wal-Mart Stores and revenue for the year rose 0.8% to $485.873 billion thanks to a more than 3% gain in Walmart U.S. sales. Despite those mixed results it was the best comp sales report for the retailer in more than four years.
Full-year net income was $13.643 billion, down from $14.694 billion in the previous fiscal year. Net income in the all-important fourth quarter was $3.757 billion, down almost 18% compared to  $4.574 billion in the fourth quarter of the previous fiscal year.

FCPA UPDATE
Wal-Mart Stores also filed its Corporate Ethics and Compliance Report on Thursday in which McMillon gave the following statement to shareholders.

We are a company of the future. We’re operating from a strong foundation built by those before us and taking action aimed at strengthening our business this year and beyond. We’ll continue to strengthen our stores around the world, we’ll continue to build our e-commerce and digital capabilities and we’ll put them together in a way that saves customers time and money.”

The report states Wal-Mart has invested more than $141 million in global ethics and compliance programs since 2013. The retailer did not identify how much it spent on defending itself in ongoing investigations into proposed violations of the Federal Corruption Practices Act. Since 2012 Wal-Mart has spent $837 million on FCPA matters according to the Feb. 21 earnings report.

The cost of the probe into alleged violations of the Federal Corruption Practices Act equates to roughly $458,000 per day since 2012.

Mike Koehler, a law professor at Southern Illinois University regarding FCPA matters, told Talk Business & Politics he believes Wal-Mart will reach a settlement in its FCPA cases this year. He said as spending on this issue has come down incrementally each year, Wal-Mart is close to winding this down.

“Over the past fourteen quarters, Wal-Mart’s FCPA and compliance-related costs have been approximately $275,000, 465,000, $445,000, $396,000, $520,000, $470,000, $470,000, $516,000, $563,000, $640,000, $662,000, $855,000, $1.1 million and $1.3 million per day,” Koehler said.

In the report McMillon said Wal-Mart has reshaped its ethics and compliance program over the past five years, integrating global structure to enhance transparency and accountability.

“We built processes, aided by innovative technology systems, to ensure that acting in the right way is part of the company culture. And we are taking similar steps to promote integrity with our many business partners, particularly those that interact with governments for us … In light of our business’ size, we realized that technology would be essential to make our governance programs efficient and reliable. Accordingly, we’ve spent significant time and resources developing and deploying electronic systems to implement our anti-corruption policies, obtain and monitor our licenses and permits, enhance food safety, track our donations to the community, provide training to our associates, and comply with our anti-money-laundering obligations, among other functions. We are seeing strong results from these investments in people and systems. Our licensing and permitting processes provide just one example of how these improvements are helping us to effectively manage our business.” McMillon noted.

He said Wal-Mart is required to apply for more than 56,000 licenses to operate its facilities outside the U.S. To meet this need, it has created licensing teams in each international market, numbering more than 300 employees in total. The company developed rules to monitor and track licenses and permits in each market, using a centralized licensing system. He said this system reduces the risk of error by organizing workflows and implementing safeguards like required approvals for paying fees. The system also provides a repository for licensing information, thereby creating transparency and enabling the company to monitor compliance with global policy and local procedures, he added.

McMillon said there is board leadership actively engaged in the compliance protocol as it pertains to foreign corruption. He said the company has spent five years putting safeguards and best practices in place as well as anti-corruption training that was provided to more than 100,000 employees who interact with government officials in their jobs.

Koehler has applauded Wal-Mart’s efforts to safeguard against future corruption. He said this will likely be viewed favorably by federal officials involved in the investigations.

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